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The role of stress on memory

Abstract

Ever forget someone?s name? Despite your efforts to remember the name, you come up blank. Only when you stopped trying, the name comes back to you. In this science fair project, you will evaluate how stress affects our memory.

Objective

Evaluate the effects of stress on memory.

Scientific Terms

Short term memory, long term memory

Background

Our ability to retrieve memories can be influenced by a number of factors. Fatigue, preoccupation with other thoughts, aging, and stress are but a few of them. Long term memory is usually more stable and resistant to such factors. However, short-term memory is much more vulnerable to such factors. In this experiment, you will create a mildly stressful situation for the participants, as well as focusing their attention. The pressure on the participants to do well, and having to concentrate on instructions, will impact their ability to remember a sequence of tasks.

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